Wildlife stamp design contests: And the winners are …
MADISON, Wis. – A total of 22 wildlife artists submitted 37 pieces of artwork for the 2021 Wisconsin wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamp design contest. Judging was held on July 30 at a conference center in Portage, Wis. The judges for the 2021 Wisconsin Wildlife Stamp Art Contest were Jeff Maletzke from Ducks Unlimited, John Motoviloff from National Wild Turkey Federation and Tally Hamilton from Pheasants Forever.
Wild Turkey Stamp
Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk won this year’s turkey stamp design competition. Metrich has been painting since he was about 10 years old and is mostly self-taught. He gains inspiration for his art from hunting trips and his winning piece of two gobblers in the dawn of a spring day was inspired by previous hunting outings to southern Wisconsin. Metrich hunts almost every day of April, bringing his camera to take plenty of photos for reference materials for future paintings. Asked about his successful painting, Metrich said he believes his success comes from his unfiltered love for hunting, wildlife and nature in general.
Second place was awarded to Robert Metropulos of Arbor Vitae for his piece of a tom turkey with a hen decoy. Robert Wilkins of Kiel took third for his painting of three gobblers in deep woods.
All turkey hunters are required to purchase the $5.25 Wild Turkey Stamp to legally hunt turkeys in Wisconsin. Proceeds from stamp sales provide vital support for turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin and bring in over $775,000 annually for habitat management and restoration projects, education, research, equipment purchases and management of the wild turkey program.
Caleb Metrich also won the 2021 waterfowl stamp design contest for his entry featuring a pair of pintail ducks in flight with a hunter and his dog in the background. The hunter in the boat depicts Metrich’s father and their hunting dog.
Second place was awarded to Keith Raddatz of Watertown for his painting of a pair of northern shovelers. Third place went to James Pieper of Iron Ridge for his mallard entry.
Duck and goose hunters are required to purchase the $7 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp in order to hunt waterfowl in Wisconsin. Revenue from these sales generates an estimated $350,000 annually for managing, restoring and protecting habitat in Wisconsin and Canada for waterfowl and other wetland-associated species.
Robert Metropulos of Arbor Vitae won the pheasant stamp design contest this year. Metropulos has been painting since he was a teenager, gaining inspiration from his mother, who was an amateur artist. Metropulos shared that it takes him about three weeks to complete a painting once he picks up the brush, but often brainstorming ideas and thinking about the layout of the piece takes longer. He advised that aspiring artists should focus on expressing themselves authentically rather than worrying about the stylings of other artists. Robert has won several turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamp design contests in the past in Wisconsin, Delaware, Indiana and Ohio. He has also been a Wisconsin Pheasants Forever featured artist of the year. Robert has placed within the top ten pieces for the federal duck stamp competition as well.
Second place was awarded to Betty Casper of Almond for her portrait of a hen and rooster in the snow. Caleb Metrich took third for his pheasant piece.
A $10 Pheasant Stamp is required to hunt pheasants in Wisconsin. Proceeds bring in approximately $500,000 annually for the development, management, conservation and maintenance of wild pheasants and their habitat in Wisconsin, along with the state game farm that raises pheasants for stocking efforts on Wisconsin’s public hunting grounds.